Chris Wood has a message for Allan Saint-Maximin ahead of his return to Leeds United with Newcastle United

Chris Wood knows how to find the back of the net at Elland Road.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 12:30 pm

The Newcastle United striker scored 41 goals from 83 league appearances in his two years at Leeds United.

Wood left Elland Road in the summer of 2017 to make the step up to the Premier League with Burnley.

And Wood, a £25million signing for the relegation-threatened club, will face his former club on Saturday looking to get off the mark for his new club.

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Chris Wood.

The 30-year-old made his debut in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Watford, but he didn’t get too many opportunities in the box. That’s something Wood feels will change once he adjusts to his new team-mates given the “abundance of talent” in the wide areas.

Wood is hoping to profit from the deliveries the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Kieran Trippier, Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie are able to put into the box. The New Zealand international also believes that he can have a two-way relationship with his team-mates, and especially Saint-Maximin.

“We’ve got an abundance of talent in those wide areas,” said Wood, who was signed after Eddie Howe lost leading scorer Callum Wilson until March with a torn calf.

“Obviously, I need to be in the box ready for them, but also there’s more to it than that.

“I’ll be looking to link, especially with Allan. He comes inside and looks to play off people, looks for one-twos and drives at players. So there’s a huge different part of my game that I have to bring.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, because it is a challenge, a new team, new people to deal with. It’s exciting to see what we can bring.”

Newcastle remain 19th in the Premier League table – and two points adrift of safety – ahead of the Leeds game.

Asked if he was confident that the club can stay up, Wood said: “I feel very confident. I’ve seen the ability in the squad before I arrived, before the likes of Tripps has turned up, and the other names mentioned that could potentially arrive here.

"It’s a great team, and a great squad, with all the ability (needed) to get ourselves out of this fight that we’re in. We’re under no illusions, it’s going to be very tough.”

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